he ability to replicate high-risk, low-frequency interpersonal situations in the safety of the virtual world enables employees and managers to develop skills in areas such as public speaking or delivering uncomfortable information. As a type of sales skill, VR training provides realistic practice in making mistakes in a safe environment. Training offers mental rehearsals in dealing with various sales scenarios, from listening to product insights to handling objections.
Learning new skills has never been easier, but in our increasingly automated business world, employees are under growing pressure to stay current. Currently, this pressure goes beyond technical skills.
Thanks to technological advancements that automate many tasks, employees have more opportunities to go beyond technical skills and create value through their human skills. Companies provide immersive educational experiences with AR, VR, and artificial intelligence to help employees develop their human skills.
More and more organizations are asking their employees to deliver value as human beings. Soft skills such as conflict resolution, teamwork, and leadership are essential, but they can be challenging for employees to develop, especially when they work remotely, making many traditional training programs unsuitable.
Soft skills can help eliminate commitments and toxic work cultures and enable organizations to take a leading position in terms of productivity and innovation. Such skills are a fundamental competence expected of managers and leaders and are essential for effective collaboration with others.
The larger the number of employees who undergo VR training, the more cost-effective it becomes.
With the increasing prevalence of remote work, VR is likely to become a desirable platform for many soft skills training programs, from leadership development to employee onboarding.
VR-based training will help the next generation of workers develop essential soft skills needed to be valuable and employable in any organization.
Developing entrepreneurial skills using artificially acquired VR experiences is feasible today and provides a real alternative to the traditional approach to soft skills training, bringing significant benefits.
A PwC study found that managers who participated in VR training had 40% more confidence in applying the acquired skills compared to those learning in a classroom. Their confidence level exceeded that of eLearning-based managers by 35%.
Over 72% of learning and development leaders across various industries and over 35% of respondents have used VR skills simulations to help employees navigate challenging workplace scenarios in areas such as customer service, conflict resolution, sales, diversity and inclusion, harassment, bed care, and healthcare worker critical training.
Data from the H&R Block customer contact center shows that two 30-minute VR sales sessions saved 4,119 hours of average processing time (171 days). Coupled with a 10% reduction in overall performance, equivalent to 3 months of on-the-job learning, this resulted in improved productivity.
As many employees gain access to mobile and desktop devices from home or the office, VR programs can be more attractive and cost-effective to implement than alternative programs.
For example, KFC developed a VR experience inspired by an escape room to teach new employees how to cook chicken in less than 10 minutes, and ExxonMobil created VR training for technicians and operators on oil and liquefied natural gas platforms.
New technologies are available that facilitate immersive learning and enable organizations to develop much-needed skills in an increasingly automated world.
The more employees undergo VR training, the more cost-effective it becomes. A PwC study estimates that 37.5% of learners associate VR training with costs equivalent to in-class training, and 50.0% of them associate it with costs equivalent to poor learning.
The research conducted by PwC showed that employees acquired soft skills four times faster during the training, were 27.5% more confident in applying them, and were four times more focused than their counterparts from E-Learning.
These general estimates provide a good starting point for determining whether VR is an option for specific training requirements. The technology should become more accessible, including the possibility of multi-user immersion, which is ideal for teaching soft skills as it can train a large group of people simultaneously. Considering the forecasts, new technologies like voice and body recognition are expected to be integrated into the VR experience to enhance its realistic effects.
Virtual reality is the best way to conduct training on sensitive topics. It requires a lot of work initially, but its scalability makes it a promising educational tool for the future. Take a look at what RTE has to offer.